Breakthrough discovery recycles plastic from the inside out

Light yet sturdy, plastic is great — until you no longer need it. Because plastics contain various additives, like dyes, fillers, or flame retardants, very few plastics can be recycled without loss in performance or aesthetics. Even the most recyclable plastic, PET — or poly(ethylene terephthalate) — is only recycled at a rate of 20-30%, …

Matter around a young star helps astronomers explore our stellar history

Astronomers map the substance aluminum monoxide (AlO) in a cloud around a distant young star — Origin Source I. The finding clarifies some important details about how our solar system, and ultimately we, came to be. The cloud’s limited distribution suggests AlO gas rapidly condenses to solid grains, which hints at what an early stage …

Tomato pan-genome makes bringing flavor back easier

Almost everyone agrees that most store-bought tomatoes don’t have much flavor. Now, scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) may have spotlighted the solution in a paper just published in Nature Genetics. Molecular biologist James Giovannoni with the ARS Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research Laboratory and BTI bioinformatics scientist Zhangjun …

Brain region that watches for walls identified

To move through the world, you need a sense of your surroundings, especially of the constraints that restrict your movement: the walls, ceiling and other barriers that define the geometry of the navigable space around you. And now, a team of neuroscientists has identified an area of the human brain dedicated to perceiving this geometry. …